- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 28, 2006

Kweisi Mfume, who lost the Democratic primary for Maryland’s open U.S. Senate seat, visited with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. this week at the governor’s mansion in Annapolis.

Mr. Mfume, a Democrat and past president of the NAACP, is rumored to be targeting a run for mayor of Baltimore next year.

Mr. Ehrlich, a Republican running for reelection against current Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley, served in Congress with Mr. Mfume.

Ehrlich spokesman Paul Schurick said the meeting was “just old friends catching up,” but declined to comment on the substance of the meeting.

“The governor thought it was an appropriate time to talk,” said Mr. Schurick.

Mr. Mfume visited with the governor on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Mr. Mfume appeared for the first time in public with the victorious Democrat in the U.S. Senate race, Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, at a rally in College Park with Sen. Barack Obama, Illinois Democrat.

Mr. Mfume stole Mr. Obama’s thunder, telling the crowd of about 1,000 that Democrats “have a problem” because their statewide ticket is headed by all white males.

“The Democratic ticket of four nominees for statewide office … still looks like the Democratic ticket for state office in 1956,” Mr. Mfume said. “We have a problem. … We have got to find a way that African Americans and other minorities are represented statewide in office.”

He later told The Washington Times that if Democrats do not address the race issue, “Republicans will continue to take the high ground on inclusion and diversity.”

In 2002, Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, who was elected as Mr. Ehrlich’s running mate, became the first black person elected to statewide office in Maryland.

Mr. Steele is now Mr. Cardin’s Republican opponent in the U.S. Senate race.

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